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Presented on Indonesia’s Anti-Corrosion Days 2008, INDOCOR, 4 December 2008, Borobudur Hotel, Jakarta, Indonesia

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3D Boundary Element Inverse Analysis

a

Department of Mechanical and Materials Engineering

National University of Malaysia

b

Department of Mechanical, University of Syiah Kuala

Banda Aceh, Indonesia

ABSTRACT

The early detection of the corrosion of reinforced concrete structure is very important to

prevent a severe damage of failure such as the collapse of buildings and bridges. The

diagnosing of reinforced concrete corrosion structure using conventional technique such

as potential mapping technique has been extensively used in the field. However, the

method still has limitation that is less accuracy, laborious and time-consuming. This

study is conducted on inverse analysis boundary element method to detect the corrosion

location of the steels in concrete structure from some potential data, which are measured

on the concrete surface. In this method, the potential in the concrete domain was

modeled by Laplace’s equation. The inverse problem is carried out by means of

minimizing a cost function. The cost function is a function of difference between the

calculated and measured potentials on the concrete surface. The calculated values of

potential are obtained by solving the Laplace’s equation using boundary element method

(BEM). Several potential values on concrete surface were applied to detect corrosion

location by using 3D boundary element inverse analysis.

Workshop, Seminar & exhibition: Indonesia’s Anti-Corrosion Days 2008

INDOCOR, 4 December 2008

INTRODUCTION

Corrosion of the reinforcement steel used in concrete leads to formation of rust. As the

steel corrodes, the volume of the rust also increases and at one stage the force induced

by the corrosion products may exceed the tensile strength of the concrete and because of

this, cracking of concrete will occur. These corrosion products would exert enormous

stress on the surrounding concrete promoting the deterioration of concrete structures.

Hence, it is important to detect corrosion of the steels in concrete structure since the

corrosion of steels in concrete is a major cause of premature deteriorations and failures

of the reinforced concrete structures. Also it is important to maintain a long life of the

structures and reduce the cost of maintenances 1-2).

Corrosion of steel in concrete reduces the life and durability of concrete structures. It

is a worldwide problem, which causes heavy losses to the economy and industry. The

corrosion of steel is inevitable. The durability of concrete structures primarily depends

on the condition of the embedded steel in concrete, apart from any deterioration that the

concrete may undergo. To determine the condition of the embedded steel, potential

surveys are carried out on concrete structures and this is one of the most important

monitoring techniques. The potential on the concrete surface is usually used to predict or

evaluate the corrosion on the steel surface in concrete structure, such as haft-cell

potential mapping technique 3-4). The half-cell potential mapping has been used widely

for evaluating and monitoring the reinforced concrete corrosion. Most of these

measurements in the field are manually carried out and the data obtained are analyzed.

Automation is the best solution where repeated measurements have to be made. This

eliminates the human errors in the measurement and improves the accuracy of the data

measured from humanly inaccessible regions of a structure 5).

The purpose of this study is to apply the boundary element inverse analysis for

identification corrosion location of steel in concrete structure. The inverse problem is

carried out by means of minimizing a cost function. The cost function is a function of

difference between the calculated and measured potentials on the concrete surface.

BASIC THEORIES

During the electrochemical corrosion process, several anodic (oxidation) and cathodic

(reduction) reactions occur simultaneously on the steel surface. Iron is oxidized to the

ferrous state at the anode, releasing electrons.

Fe → Fe 2+ + 2e (1)

At the cathode, these electrons combine with oxygen and moisture to form hydroxide

ions.

1

O 2 + H 2 O + 2e → 2OH − (2)

2

An electric current flow occurs due to the above reactions. The rate of corrosion is

determined by the current flowing between anodic and cathodic areas on steel surface 6).

Workshop, Seminar & exhibition: Indonesia’s Anti-Corrosion Days 2008

INDOCOR, 4 December 2008

The total corrosion rate is the self-corrosion rate plus the galvanic corrosion rate. The

self-corrosion rate can be neglected since it is generally much lower than the galvanic

corrosion rate.

The corrosion rate is proportional to the density of current across the surface of an

anode, so the analysis of corrosion problem can be reduced to computing the electro-

galvanic field due to multiple anodic/cathodic interactions.

reinforcement steel and a voltage reading is obtained with respect to a RE (reference

electrode) over the concrete surface using a portable sensing device as established. The

principle involved in this method is the appearance of an electrical potential between the

reinforcing steel and a reference electrode, named half-cell. The potential obtained is

analyzed to determine whether the steel is corroding or not. Potential survey can be

carried out at different nodal points and measurement can be done in more number of

points. Correct potential mapping will enable reliable information about the condition of

reinforcement beneath to be obtained. This type of survey can primarily indicate whether

or not the steel embedded in a structure is corroding and the areas where corrosion

activity is greatest. The schematic of half-cell potential mapping can be seen in Figure 1.

MATHEMATICAL MODEL

by solving the boundary integral equation. Figure (1) shows the basic equation and

boundary conditions used in the study. The coexistence of cathode and corroding area

(anode) on the forms of galvanic corrosion model. The galvanic corrosion rate is

proportional to the current density that flows across the surface of the anode. Because of

this, the analysis of corrosion problems can be reduced to computing only the electro-

galvanic field due to multiple anodic/ cathodic interactions.

The entire surface of the electrolyte domain is indicated by Γ ≡ Γ1 + Γ2 + Γ3a + Γ3c .

The given values of the potential and current density are respectively indicated by φ o

and i0 . The Γ1 and Γ2 are essential condition and natural condition, respectively. And

finally f a and f c are nonlinear functions representing the experimentally determined

polarization curves for the anode and the cathode, respectively.

Considering that there is no accumulation or loss of ions in the electrolyte domain,

the potential field in the concrete domain (Ω) can be modeled mathematically by the

Laplace's equation 7-10):

∂ 2φ ∂ 2φ ∂ 2φ

∇ 2φ = + + =0 in Ω (3)

∂x 2 ∂y 2 ∂z 2

Workshop, Seminar & exhibition: Indonesia’s Anti-Corrosion Days 2008

INDOCOR, 4 December 2008

1

φ* = for 3D case (4)

4πr

where φ is unknown potential at any point and φ* is known fundamental solution at any

point.

The density of current across the boundaries, which will be denoted by i, is given by

∂φ

i = −κ (5)

∂n

where κ is the conductivity of the concrete, i is the current density across the boundary,

and ∂φ is the outward normal derivative. The boundary conditions associated with

∂n

Equation (3) are written as;

φ = φ0 on Γ1 (6)

i = io on Γ2 (7)

φ = − f a (i ) on Γ3a (8)

φ = − f c (i ) on Γ3c (9)

The well-known ‘Greens Second Identity’, Equation (10), is used to move the

problem from within the domain to its boundary.

⎛ ∂φ * * ∂φ ⎞

∫Ω (φ∇ φ − φ ∇ φ )dΩ = ∫Γ ⎜⎜⎝φ ∂n − φ ∂n ⎟⎟⎠dΓ

2 * * 2

(10)

∂

where n is unit outward normal and is derivative in the direction of normal.

∂n

Equation (10) shows the advantage of the boundary element method that reduction the

problem dimension by one.

The standard boundary element procedures lead to:

⎧φ s ⎫ ⎧ io ⎫

⎪ ⎪

κ [H ]⎨ − f (i a ) ⎬ − [G ]⎪⎨ i a ⎪

⎬ = 0 (11)

⎪ − f (i ) ⎪ ⎪i ⎪

⎩ c ⎭ ⎩ c ⎭

where the detail expression of matrices [H] and [G] are given in references 7), and the

subscripts s, a, c and m represent the quantities on Γ2, Γ3a and Γ3c, respectively. The

system of non-linear algebraic equation in Equation (11) can be solved by the iterative

procedures, e.g. the Newton-Raphson method. An experimental verification of the

boundary element solution is shown in reference 8). If the boundary conditions in

Equations (6) to (9) are known, than the potential φ and current density i on the overall

surface of the concrete and steel can be determined 8).

Workshop, Seminar & exhibition: Indonesia’s Anti-Corrosion Days 2008

INDOCOR, 4 December 2008

INVERSE ANALYSIS

Inverse analysis method could be used to solve the corrosion identification problem such

as corrosion of steel in concrete.

The inverse problem is carried out by minimizing the cost-function, ε in

Equation (12). The cost function is a residual between the calculated and measured

potential values at some locations on the concrete surface as given in the following

equation:

2

N ⎡⎛ φ − φˆl ⎞⎤

ε ( x) = ∑ ⎢⎜⎜ l ⎟⎥

⎟

(12)

⎢⎝ φˆMax

l =1 ⎣ ⎠⎦⎥

value that are used in the inverse analysis. The φ and φˆ are the calculated and

measurement of potential that are obtained by direct boundary element calculation,

respectively. φˆMax are the highest potential value among N potential data. The calculated

values of potential are obtained by solving the Laplace’s equation using boundary

element method (BEM).

EXPERIMENT

For the purpose of carrying out the inverse analysis, an experiment using a prismatic

concrete block with embedded steel was performed. To study the corrosion location of

the embedded steel in concrete, a model of concrete specimen shown in Figure 1 (b) was

considered. The specimen size was 50x10x10 cm. An embedded steel, 1 cm in diameter

and 52 cm length, was cast in concrete. A single corroded area (2 cm in length) was exist

on the reinforcing steel and located at x=13 cm from the left-end of the concrete

specimen.

By using half-cell potential technique, eight potential data were measured on the

concrete surface along with the reinforced concrete direction. Table 1 shows the

measured potentials data on the concrete surface.

The inverse analysis was carried out for determining the corrosion location of the

concrete by using only eight potential data which measured on the concrete surface

given in Table 1.

In boundary element calculation, the surfaces of the concrete and steel were

discretized into 192 elements. For carrying out the inverse analysis, at first one location

of the corrosion location should be initialized. First, a single corroded area (2 cm in

length) was estimated exist at x=11 cm from the left-end of the concrete specimen.

Then, the cost function was calculated. It was repeated for estimated corrosion location

at x=13, 15 and 17 cm. Table 2 shows the cost function for each estimated location of

corrosion.

Workshop, Seminar & exhibition: Indonesia’s Anti-Corrosion Days 2008

INDOCOR, 4 December 2008

The cost function for each predicted location of corrosion was plotted in Figure 2.

The figure shows that the corrosion of reinforced concrete have been occurred at

location x=13 cm. It is the same with the prescribed corrosion location in the

experiment. Therefore, the location of corrosion in the concrete structure can be detected

precisely using the proposed method.

To evaluate the validity of the estimated result of the corrosion location of the

concrete, the obtained corrosion location was used in direct boundary element method

for recalculating the potential distribution at several locations on the surface of the

concrete specimen that the same with the measured potential location in experiment.

Table 3 gives the potential result from direct boundary element method. The potential

data distribution as a result from direct boundary element on the concrete surface is

shown in Figure 3(a). Meanwhile, Figure 3(b) plots the comparison of calculated and

measured potential data. The result indicates that the calculated potential distribution on

the concrete surface was in good agreement with the experimental data and the

percentage error was not more than 0.03 %.

CONCLUSIONS

concrete with embedded steel from potential data which were measured on the concrete

surface. The inverse analysis was carried out by minimizing the cost function. The cost

function is a residual between the calculated and measured values of the potentials on

the concrete surface. By combining 3D boundary element method and inverse analysis,

corrosion location of the example case was detected in good agreement compare to the

experiment data. Since the location of corrosion was detected by mean minimizing the

cost function manually in the current work. Therefore, in future, we can apply the

optimize method such as Downhill simplex method to improve the proposed inverse

analysis.

Acknowledgements

The authors would like to thank ExxonMobil Malaysia that sponsored the project.

Workshop, Seminar & exhibition: Indonesia’s Anti-Corrosion Days 2008

INDOCOR, 4 December 2008

REFERENCES

Investigation and Repair, E & FN Spon, London.

2. Anonymous 2002. Cost of Corrosion Study Unveiled, A Supplement to Material

Performance, NACE Int’l, July 2002: 2-5.

3. Anonymous 2000, Half-Cell Potential Surveys of Reinforced Concrete Structures,

Concrete, July/August, pp. 43-45.

4. Ping Gu and Beaudoin, J.J. 1998, Obtaining Effective Half-Cell Potential

Measuremens in Reinforced Concrete Structures, Construction Technology Update

No. 18.

5. Thirumalai Parthiban, Ravi, R. & Parthiban, G.T., Potential Monitoring System for

Corrosion of Steel in Concrete,Advance in Engineering Software 37, 2006, pp. 375-

381.

6. M.G. Fontana, N.D. Greene, Corrosion Engineering, 2nd Ed. McGraw-Hill

International, 1988, pp.45-48.

7. Brebia, C.A., the Boundary Element Technique in Engineering, Newnes-

Butterworths, London, 1980.

8. Aoki, S., Amaya, K. & Miyasaka, M., Boundary Element Analysis on Corrosion

Problems, Shokabo, Tokyo. 1998.

9. K. Amaya and S. Aoki, Effective Boundary Element Methods in Corrosion

Analysis, Engineering Analysis with Boundary Element 27, 2003, pp. 507-519.

10. Ridha, M., Inverse Analysis Methods for Identifying Corrosion of Reinforced

Concrete Using Boundary Element Method, Doctoral Thesis, Tokyo Institute of

Technology. 2002.

Workshop, Seminar & exhibition: Indonesia’s Anti-Corrosion Days 2008

INDOCOR, 4 December 2008

Number of data x (cm) φˆ (mV)

1 5 258.86

2 7 264.74

3 9 273.23

4 11 275.63

5 13 276.23

6 15 274.40

7 17 266.79

8 19 261.21

Corrosion location

Cost

No from the left-end of the

Function

concrete specimen.

1 10 to 12 cm 1.37 x 10-2

2 12 to 14 cm 5.54 x 10-8

3 14 to 16 cm 1.67 x 10-2

4 16 to 18 cm 2.98 x 10-2

Number of φ (mV)

x (cm)

data

1 5 258.85

2 7 264.73

3 9 273.21

4 11 275.61

5 13 276.21

6 15 274.38

7 17 266.78

8 19 261.20

Workshop, Seminar & exhibition: Indonesia’s Anti-Corrosion Days 2008

INDOCOR, 4 December 2008

Workshop, Seminar & exhibition: Indonesia’s Anti-Corrosion Days 2008

INDOCOR, 4 December 2008

Figure 3. (a) Calculated potential distribution on the concrete surface. (b) The

comparison of calculated and measured potentials on the concrete surface.

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